Australian phone numbers

Australian phone numbers you need to know

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Despite the rise of instant messaging apps, phone numbers are still a handy way to keep in touch with friends and family, but can be hard to keep track of – especially if you’re new to the Australia.

In this Canstar Blue article, we’ll detail everything you need to know about Australian phone numbers, as well as how to keep your old number or choose your own. We’ll also cover a list of Australian emergency contacts that are handy to have in your phonebook.

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Types of Australian phone numbers

There are a several ‘types’ of phone numbers in Australia that you should be aware of, as they may look different when written down, or have different costs associated (which is always good to be aware of). The types of phone numbers used in Australia include:

  • Landline numbers
  • Mobile numbers
  • Organisational numbers

Landline phone number Australia

While not as common as they once were, landline phones – also known as ‘home phones’ – are generally connected to many homes and businesses, meaning there are still plenty of people who use them. The first two (out of 10) digits in an Australian phone number indicate the region where the call is to be placed, with Australia broken down into geographical areas. There are four major areas across Australia, including:

  • Central East region numbers (including areas such as Sydney and Canberra) start with ’02’
  • South-east region numbers (including areas such as Melbourne and Hobart) start with ’03’
  • North-east region numbers (including areas such as Brisbane, Gold Coast and Townsville) start with ’07’
  • Central and West region numbers (including areas such as Perth, Adelaide and Darwin) start with 08

If you’re looking to make a call to someone who lives in a different region of Australia, you’ll have to put in the area code first before putting in their phone number. As a result, some phone numbers may look like this:

  • (02) xxxx xxxx

If you’re looking to call someone who lives in the same region as you, you won’t have to enter the area digits before you make the phone call – you simply enter the last eight numbers.

How to get a landline phone number in Australia

To get a landline phone number in Australia, you’ll have to organise with a telecommunications business to come out and install and/or connect the necessary wiring to connect you to the relevant network. Once you’ve purchased a telecommunications plan with the provider, and have the necessary equipment connected or installed, they’ll give you your landline number. It’s also worthwhile considering that most home phone lines are being replaced by the NBN, and may not be as readily available as they once were.

Mobile phone numbers Australia

Most of us now use mobile phones instead of landlines as a way to keep in contact with others. All Australian mobile phone numbers begin with the digits ’04’, regardless of the location, telco provider, or network, followed by individual numbers, meaning mobile phone numbers in Australia will look like this:

  • 04xx xxx xxx

How do I call an Australian mobile number?

If you want to call an Australian mobile number from overseas, you’ll have to enter the International Access Code – which for Australia is 61 – and will often be shown as +61 followed by the phone number you wish to call. It most cases, the ‘0’ will be replaced by the International Access Code, meaning Australian mobile numbers will look something like this:

  • +614 xxx xxx xxx

Australian organisational numbers

Business or organisation phone numbers are a bit different and commonly begin with either 13, 1300 or 1800. Companies use these as they are nationwide numbers, meaning if a business moves into a different region, they don’t have to worry about changing their number. The main difference between a 1300 and 1800 number is the cost, as 1300 are referred to as Local Rate Numbers, meaning it will cost you to call 1300 numbers, while 1800 numbers are Toll Free Numbers, meaning they are free to call.

Read more: Best-Rated Mobile Phone Providers

How to get Australian phone numbers

Getting your own Mobile Number

Getting Australian phone numbers is simple. When you sign up to a telco provider, you’ll be given a phone number with a mobile phone and/or SIM card purchase. To get a landline phone number in Australia, this will happen when you sign up to a home internet plan and bundle a landline service with the plan.

But what happens when you upgrade your mobile phone to the latest model, or even switch telco providers? In Australia, swapping your mobile phone doesn’t mean you have to swap numbers as well, meaning your friends and family can stay in contact with you no matter how many times you switch.

How do I keep my old phone number?

If you’re looking at making the switch to another SIM-Only plan, you can keep your old phone number through a process known as ‘mobile number porting’. You can only port your phone number once you’ve signed up to a new provider or deal, with your new provider giving you the option to keep your phone number when you’re activating your SIM card.

Can I choose my own phone number?

You can also ask your provider for a phone number that is easier to remember, or something that you just prefer. The big providers, such as Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Amaysim, all offer the option for customers to choose their own mobile phone number, but it will cost you extra, and there’s also the risk that someone else already has the phone number you want! Simply contact them to find out if the phone number you want is available.

Compare SIM-only phone plans

If you want a mobile phone number in Australia, you’ll need a mobile phone plan. If you already have a mobile phone you’re happy with, you’ll need a SIM-only phone plan to get your own Australian phone number. The below tables compare a range of prepaid and postpaid SIM-only phone plans.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 20GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Australian phone numbers you should know

While most phone numbers will easily be found online, if you’re visiting or travelling Australia, it wouldn’t hurt to have these useful Australian phone numbers close by, or stored in your mobile phone, in case of emergency, or to just make things easier. In some cases, having quick access to these phone numbers in Australia can make the difference in an emergency situation.

Australian emergency services phone number

If you’re in an emergency, or are in need of help, the phone number for the Australian emergency services is 000. This is for ambulance, police, as well as the fire department, and will connect you to an operator who will direct your call to the relevant services. Be sure to provide as much information as possible to the operator, as it will ensure you receive the help you need.

Australian SES (State Emergency Services) phone number

Each Australian state has its own SES unit, which is usually called in the event of natural disasters, such as bushfires and flooding. You can reach your local SES unit by calling 13 25 00, which will connect you to an operator who will pass you onto the local SES branch.

Australian Poison Information Centre phone number

With Australia home to plenty of dangerous animals, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared in case you come across one. The Poison Information Centre will be able to provide advice for anyone who has been bitten, stung, or come into contact with Australian wildlife, and can be reached on 13 11 26.

Australian Kids Helpline phone number

A private and confidential counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25, Kids Helpline is a handy number to have for those who are having problems at home, or are struggling with changes or simply need to talk to someone. Kids Helpline can be reached on 1800 551 800.

Other Australian phone numbers you should have

In addition to your friends and family, the below numbers may also be handy to have saved in your phone:

  • Your telco provider – mobile phone and internet coverage isn’t always perfect, or you may have a problem with your device, so it could be worthwhile knowing who to call to fix any issues.
  • Your doctor – getting sick is never fun, especially if you don’t know who to contact. Having your doctor’s practice – or even the number for a house call doctor – may help you get better sooner.
  • Emergency contacts – in certain cases, you may be required to provide an emergency contact, such as for a safety waiver in case you get hurt or sick, so it’s best to have the numbers of loved ones saved in your phone. This will generally be your friends or family, or may be someone you live with, or your next-door neighbour.

There are plenty of things to consider when it comes to the Australian telco market, so if you’re looking to purchase a new phone, SIM Card or phone plan, it helps to look at all the options available to you before signing up. You can compare a wide range of phone plans with our free phone plan comparison tool to help you find a plan to suit your needs.

Dean Heckscher
Site Editor
Dean Heckscher was a content producer and editor at Canstar Blue for more than five years until 2024, most recently as the Site Editor. He holds dual Bachelor degrees in Business and Creative and Professional Writing from the Queensland University of Technology.

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